Walking the Earth
• October 27, 2016/Belgrade Lakes, Maine •
I’m back home after a few days walking the earth. I was in New York earlier this week talking to reviewers, bloggers, and media folks in what they call a “pre-heat” for my spring novel, LONG BLACK VEIL. This story of suspense, disappearance, murder, and changing identities begins in 1980, where six friends from college are goofing around inside Philadelphia’s abandoned and ruined Eastern State Penitentiary. Things get ugly when they accidentally get locked in– and also find that behind those walls they are not alone. The day ends in a disappearance, and a presumed murder. That’s chapter one.
I love the cover, which shows a defaced John the Baptist by Leonardo. John the B is a transfigured soul, male and female, earthly and heaven bound. Wait, did I say transfigured? I love that people will look at the cover and think,
Say, is that a man or a woman? And I go, Hmmmm…
My publishers (whom I will always think of as Random Penguins) invented a cocktail for the book party, the Long Blackberry Veil. I also got to see my editor, Lindsay Sagnette
(also the editor of Gone Girl, among other books) and my publicist, Rachel Rokicki, who has worked on every single one of my books since She’s Not There.
After 3 days in the city I flew to Portland ME for a reading at Longfellow Books for the Bitch is Back anthology. I got momentarily teary at the podium, the way I do. Then I jumped in the car and drove the hour and a half home, where I found the dogs asleep and my wife Deirdre Grace awake. I ate chili in bed and watched the last two innings of the World Series.
The colors of autumn are on the fade up here. But deep within my heart there dwells an invincible summer. What about you? How are you doing? Are you all right? Won’t you be glad when the election is over?
I will be SO glad.
I am currently dealing with what I see as a bit of cowardice on my part. I just recently came out at work, and I’ve been having a lot of trouble using the restroom.
No, not in that way.
In public, I have no problem using the women’s room .. after all, those strangers are never gonna see me again. Not so at work, where I will very likely see the same women occasionally in the women’s room. I encountered a frowning woman once, who was on her way out of the restroom .. and when I finished up and left, she was standing across from the bathroom, whispering to some friends, looking at me.
The automatic guilty feeling I got in that moment really puts a damper on things. I hope it’ll get better.
Keep up the good work Jennifer. Thanks for being a prosaic guiding lite.
Lovely photo of you amongst the leaves. Sorry to have missed you at Longfellow, but will look forward to buying your book there. Oh, yes, please let the election end, and end peacefully! 💜
I’m doing well, thank you Jenny. Yes, I’m anxious to get this election behind us but fear that nothing much will change afterwards, although always hopeful.
The biggest change I’m anticipating is finally making the official leap over the gender line in the coming few months. I’m totally out at work and I’ve gotten nothing but support and love from my co-workers. Been a bit tougher with some personal relationships but I keep working at those. My kids are fine with it all which is what matters most to me. As I said, I remain hopeful. I have to.
I love your idea of an invincible summer although it is snowing just to my north here in New Hampshire. Guess my summer will have to hibernate between my ears for now.
Keep up the good work for us, although I’m sure you could use a break sometimes. But your work has literally saved lives. I know. I’m one of them.
(Tried to post similar last night, sorry if you got it twice.)
The first time I met a Transgender woman was in 1980’s London. I spent the first hour trying not to stare, while I scanned for hints of the masculine under her Punk gear. She spoke freely. What I found was that she had a loving partner who’d stood by her through an excruciating transition, that included botched surgery in Oslo, and a hate fuelled outing in the UK’s gutter press. And I thought: I want love like that.
I left my 12 year, conditional, party-based marriage. It took a while for me to realize that the only way to gain “love like that,” was to learn to give love like that. Another dozen years went by until I found it.
I was thrilled to meet you at the Bitch is Back reading in Portland, and to hear you speak of the depth of love in your life. Thank you for your honesty, your humor, and a wonderful reminder of the most important lesson of my life.